I love my job, I love my house, and I love my cat. What else do I need out of life? Hmmm…maybe the hot new IT guy from work. Those dimples…And don’t get me started on his forearms.
But he’s way too young. Plus, office romance is never a good idea. Besides, my relationship track record is pitiful and the last thing I need is to get my heart broken again. So Simon Walker can take his charm, his Star Wars sheets, and his genius IQ and sweet talk some sweet young thing.
Elaine Madigan is easily the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met. Hilarious. Sexy. Smart. And unfortunately, she’s also convinced herself that I’m way too young for, so she’s friend-zoned me.
Somehow I need to show her how grown up I really am. I need her to see that I’m ready to settle down–with her. It’s no easy task, but that doesn’t scare me. After all, I’m a techie, and cracking codes is what I do. No matter what it takes, I’ll hack the code to her heart.
The IT Guy by Andi Burns is a dual POV standalone work romance with a younger hero, office hijinks, lots of laughs, and plenty of steam.
We’ve been at this scavenger hunt for a good half hour, and we’re tied at 5. We’ve got a list of outlandish costumes and the goal is to spot as many, in real time, as we can. People watching is fun, but let’s face it: I’ve mostly been watching Elaine–the way she smiles softly, the way she toys with the ends of her hair or the bracelets on her wrist. I thought I was crushing before, but spending time with her one-on-one, (and no, the occasional carpool does not count) has me completely enchanted.
She scans the bar again, but the look on her face tells me she’s come up empty. I take a quick glance around and smile.
“Sexy nun for the win.”
“No freaking way.”
“Yes freaking way. Sexy nun right at your back. Wait.okay, look now.” I watch her turn to spot a co-ed in little more than a crop-top and a habit. Seriously, her skirt’s the size of a business envelope, which could be an issue in the eyes of the Lord. “Holy crap, that girl will catch pneumonia.”
“Maybe the sexy doctors at the bar should lend a hand?”
She laughs, and my heart expands. “Well, sure. It’s the medically responsible thing to do.”
I shake my head at the visual. “Sounds like a bad porno.”
“Is there such a thing as a good porno?” The sincerity in her voice makes me choke on my beer.
“Oh, God! I’m sorry! Are you okay? Here, put your arms up. Maybe you need the sexy doctors?”
I cough loudly and draw a few stares. I smile in reassurance. “I’m good,” I promise, as I clear my throat a final time. “I don’t need the sexy doctors. Thoroughly enjoying my evening with a sexy copy-editor, though.”
Elaine blushes at my compliment as I flag down the scarecrow. Hell, even I’m impressed with the level of smooth I’ve been able to maintain. Being with Elaine is so easy that all–well, okay, a solid 50%–of my awkwardness seems to have dissipated.
The scarecrow returns and nods when I ask for a refill. She turns to Elaine, “Another for you, too?”
“Yes, thanks, but I’ll switch to a Shirley Temple Black.” Scarecrow nods again and disappears into the crowd.
“Did you seriously just order a Shirley Temple? That’s awesome. I don’t think I’ve had one of those since I was ten.”
She opens her mouth, and I’d bet my Wookie collection she’s about to knock on my age.
Emboldened by the fact that I’m making her laugh and this date is going well, despite my inability to wear matching shoes, I reach across the table and press my finger to her lips. “Don’t say it.”
She widens her eyes with innocence, but I’m not fooled. Gifted program, remember? “Don’t. Whatever crack you were going to say about my age or yours, don’t.” Scarecrow returns with our drinks, and I accept mine, even if it means pulling my hand away from Elaine’s lips.
“I wasn’t going to say anything.” She can’t keep a straight face as she lifts her drink.
“Bullshit. You were two seconds away from saying something like, ‘When you were ten? What was that? Three years ago?’” I’m sure I impress her with my exaggerated falsetto.
“Yes, well.” She looks appropriately and adorably sheepish. “I was merely going to clarify that a Shirley Temple Black is an improvement on the old standard because it contains a shot of vodka. And the Black comes in because that was her married name.”
“Who knew? And it’s good, this grown up version?”
“It’s delicious.” She sips her drink through her straw, and my cock, which has been half hard since this date began, presses painfully against my fly. Christ. If she starts talking about porn again, I’ll go out of my damn mind.
She reaches across the table this time and puts her hand in mine, lacing our fingers together. Her thumb rubs over my pulse point; it’s barely a touch, but it’s enough to drive me crazy.
Her hand moves down to my forearm, and her fingers caress the skin there. It feels good, sure, but when I look up at her and see the flush on her cheeks and I know she’s getting turned on by my forearms, I nearly lose it.
She pulls away quickly, and I’m about to protest or cry like a baby, but she’s toying with the little plastic sword, and I’m a little mesmerized as she peels a cherry off the length of the sword, rolls it on the tips of her fingers, and then points it in my direction. “Want my cherry?”
Andi Burns writes contemporary romance infused with humor, sass, and steam. She loves a happily-ever-after as much as her characters do, and she always reads the last page of a book first, just to make sure it all turns out okay.
Andi lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and daughters. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, folding laundry, or daydreaming about her next hero and heroine.